What Can I Do with an Associate's Degree in Special Education?

An associate's degree program in special education prepares individuals to assist young people who have learning disabilities. Those who earn this degree might also meet the educational needs of pupils by providing personal instruction and individual attention. This article discusses career options for graduates of special education associate's degree programs. Read on for more information. Schools offering Emotional & Behavioral Disorders degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Special Education Associate's Degrees

Special education associate's degrees are awarded by community colleges and can help students begin careers or further their education. Special education courses include instruction on early childhood education, child and adolescent developmental psychology, and inclusive teaching. Students who complete this degree program are qualified to work as teacher's aides, special education tutors and learning disability specialists.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Teacher AssistantsSpecial Education Teachers
Median Pay (2014) $24,430 $54,520
Job Outlook9% employment growth expected 2012-2022 (average)6% growth (slower than average)
Certificates/LicensingNone required; those who work with students with special needs must pass a skills-based test (in most states)License required for public teachers in all states; certification requirements vary

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Teacher's Aide

Teacher's aides assist primary instructors in educating children, and some aides may specialize in working with children who have disabilities. A teacher's aide is responsible for giving students the individual attention they need and helping them to develop basic literacy and life skills. While primary teachers are in charge of developing and modifying lesson plans, teacher's aides help carry out those plans and make sure they're executed effectively. Teacher's aides give students an opportunity to work at their own pace and ensure that they understand the lessons before moving on to the next.

Special Education Teachers

Special education teachers generally are required to hold at least a bachelor's degree. There are various types of disabilities that qualify a student for special education programs. Special education teachers specialize in a particular disability and may teach a class of students with disabilities or work with students one-on-one. They cater lesson plans to an individual's needs and use various techniques to promote learning.

Learning Disability Specialists

While learning disability specialists can enter the field with a bachelor's degree, they typically need a master's degree to advance. Disability specialists often work with students in higher education, helping them document their disabilities and arranging any necessary services or accommodations that students need in order to attend their classes and learn.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Westmoreland County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Youngwood
  • Western Texas College

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Snyder
  • Western Nevada College

    Campus Locations:

    • Nevada: Carson City
  • West Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Kentucky: Paducah
  • Vincennes University

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Vincennes
  • Taft College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Taft
  • Stark State College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: North Canton
  • Stanly Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Albemarle
  • St Petersburg College

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Clearwater
  • Spoon River College

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Canton